Massive Great White Shark Caught Near Tunisia

Rare catch of massive great white shark off Tunisia draws criticism | A great white shark weighing 4,400 pounds was caught Wednesday morning off Sousse, Tunisia, and sold by the fisherman for . . .  about $1,500. The store that bought the shark “had to use a crane to hold it in suspension [as it was] cut to pieces under the curious gaze of customers."

Edit: See Max's comment below about the photos of a huge tiger shark also recently in the news. Their origin is uncertain.

Hear Me, O Listeners

Lately I’ve been privileged to speak on two radio shows about my new book, Cabinet of Curiosities. I thought I’d share those talks here.

First there was Central Time, a show on Wisconsin Public Radio. You can listen to my segment here.

Then there was Science Friday. The interview itself is here. Along with it are photos of some of the collectibles lying around our house. The photos are at the bottom of that page, but as you scroll down, you'll see other cool pix contributed by listeners. Parker shot the photos of our stuff, since he knows that cameras and I have a long-standing antipathy. The SciFri folks have also posted an excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure. 

A Predator from the Deep

Jenny/Creative Commons

Here's a new one on me: a polychaete called the Bobbit worm, after the lady in the news a few years back who resolved her marital difficulties with scissors. The worm uses its shearing mouth parts merely to seize and kill prey. My correspondent Max, who shared the video below, compares this critter to the ones in the movie Tremors. 

Bobbit Worm - Dinner time from liquidguru on Vimeo.

Apparently the Bobbit worm has on a couple of occasions showed up uninvited in aquariums. The news account linked below claims that the Bobbit, like a number of other worms in the class Polychaeta, has bristles loaded with a neurotoxic venom capable of harming humans.
Barry the giant sea worm discovered by aquarium staff after mysterious attacks on coral reef | Daily Mail Online: "We laid traps but they got ripped apart in the night. That worm must have obliterated the traps. The bait was full of hooks which he must have just digested.'"

A Stiller Ground Mentioned in Best American Essays

I’m a little late with this news because I never heard about it at the time, but my essay “A Stiller Ground,” published in This Land, was listed in the Notable Essays of the Year in Best American Essays 2014. 

I’ve linked it before, but in case you haven't seen it and want to, here’s "A Stiller Ground" free on This Land’s website.

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